So I've decided to share my personal tips for when your headed to your first Beadfest or any type of expo. You can use these handy tips to make your trip better.
Beadfest that I attend is here in Oaks Pa at The Philadelphia Expo Center. It's held in the Spring (April) & Fall (August)
1) Wear comfortable walking shoes!!! Keep in mind you'll be on your feet for many hours!!!
2) Wear comfortable clothing. Regardless of the weather outside dress accordingly and comfortably you'll be indoors for many hours. No matter the weather I always bring a light sweater indoors. I usually wear a cotton shirt, and comfy pants or shorts
3) Bring a backpack or small rolling case to carry your purchases. Tote bags are fine to but keep in mind they will get weighed down and you may want comfy straps and make sure they don't constantly need to be adjusted or pushed up on your shoulder. Rolling cases are great but can hinder movement in smaller booths when crowded. I prefer a backpack myself as it carries everything I need and it distributes weight evenly so it doesn't hurt your back again you want comfy shoulder straps.
4) Beadfest as well as many expos have food and drink vendors and areas for you to sit and eat. However the lines are always long, and the prices can vary. I hate paying $2.00 for a bottle of water. I bring a small coleman cooler that I pack water, ice tea and my lunch in. When I am hungry I go out to my car and take a break for some fresh air before I go back in.
5) Always take a water bottle and a light snack with you. There are alot of people in the building and it's a lot of walking stay hydrated. I find it easier to have these on hand with me.
6) Hand Sanitizer- lots of people touching stuff, and if your digging thru metal your hands get a smell to them.
7) Handy wipes- I always bring a small travel wipes pack with me and a small pack of tissues.
8) Lotion- I also always pack a small lotion, my hands become very dry from digging thru beads, metals, findings, touching things all day etc. But I have very dry skin so I bring it lol
9) Wallet- now I don't bring my everyday wallet I bring a small Vera Bradley Wristlet. I don't want to have to dig into my bag each time I make a purchase so I use a wristlet mine has a Keychain clip on it so if I dont want to wear it on my wrist I can clip it to my jeans/shorts . Make sure to have your Photo ID (for credit/debit purchases), credit /debit cards, cash (there are atm machines located in the building but I always make sure to have cash on hand )
10) A List (hahahaha) yea so I actually do make a list of things I want to see or items I know I want to purchase. I don't always stick to the list because well it's Beadfest and there is always something else I have to have!! I also make list of my favorite vendors and their booth #'s.
11) Beadfest is HUGE!! It can become overwhelming, but remain calm, there is so so so much to see and do. You can become lost among the rows of booths but they do offer a map online and at the door. Definitely have one it helps and there are many volunteers to guide you as well.
12) No matter if you have a budget or not there is something for everyone. In April I went to beadfest with $75.00 that included my $5.00 entrance fee (see #13), lunch, and my purchases which included a vast amount of beads, gemstones, a hammer, bench block, and more, and I had $10 left over. So yes it can be done on a budget. I like to go and shop but I always know what I have to get and I always find amazing deals!!!
13) There are many vendors online that offer coupons you can print and fill out which gains you an entrance fee of $5.00 rather than $15.00. Many vendors will offer these coupons at certain times on their websites or facebook pages.
***please note... I printed a vendor coupon offered by Stacy Louise Originals in her blog post that came out today stacilouise.blogspot.com ..tell her the Beadwench sent ya ***
14) This is the most IMPORTANT tip.........
HAVE FUN... enjoy the amazing vendors, artists, and people of Beadfest. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone, you may be surprised at who you will meet along the way! !!
15) Just a last tip, Beadfest has added $2.00 mini classes and $26.00 45 minute classes in addition to their normal classes. The lines form around the building if you registered for a class please be aware of the lines. If your just a shopper like me don't panic about that line. You can enter in the lobby with out a wait. There is plenty of parking at Beadfest. It is located in a nice area, and is easy to get too. Plan your travel route accordingly and allow time for traffic. Don't rush Beadfest isn't going anywhere.
So there you have it.My handy tips for attending Beadfest Philly!!!
If you have any questions or have something to add please leave a comment below!!!